As summer turns to autumn, your yard will quickly fill with brightly-colored red, yellow and brown leaves. While these fallen leaves may seem like a nuisance, seeing them through a creative eye will reveal their potential as works of art. Next time you’re outside, gather up an armful of colorful leaves and turn them into a creative project.
Traditional leaf art
The easiest art projects using leaves only need some construction paper and basic coloring utensils. To make leaf rubbings, lay leaves underneath paper and rub with a crayon until impressions of the leaves come through. You can also use the leaves as stamps to leave behind pretty patterns. Lightly paint the face of the leaf and press it on a piece of construction paper. Make sure the leaves aren’t too dry when you work with them on these projects or they’ll fall apart.
Create a character
Children will love giving life to old leaves in creative, personalized ways. After gathering leaves of different shapes and sizes, encourage your children to arrange the leaves on construction paper to create leaf animals, adding twigs and googly eyes. Also consider creating a family portrait out of leaves—bodies and all—and draw faces on the leaves with markers.
Once you’re done with your creations, you can hang the pictures on the fridge, preserve them by framing and hanging on the wall, or cut them out and glue Popsicle sticks to them to create puppets.
Eye-catching wall decorations
Leaf-inspired décor can easily turn any home into an autumn-themed wonderland. Fallen leaves can be used to decorate your walls in a number of ways. If you collect a number of large leaves still intact, press and dry them, then hang the colorful foliage on the wall as framed artwork by pressing them between two panes of glass. Fall leaves can also be gathered, pressed and glued to a cardboard hoop to make a festive wreath to hang on your front door. Acorns and pinecones can also be added to give your wreath more variety. You can even glue leaves to picture frames that showcase photographs of your family.
Lasting creations to use year-round
If you have time on your hands and want to attempt a serious project, fallen leaves can be the inspiration for a number of practical decorations around your house to be used throughout the year. Pressing leaves between contact paper sheets can make a quick coaster, but an even better way is to lacquer the foliage on old bathroom tiles.
You can also glue the leaves to craft foam shapes outfitted with magnets to create more magnets for your refrigerator. If you’re feeling adventurous, lacquer leaves to an old mason jar to create a lantern filled with small candles, electric tea lights or holiday lights.
Your family will enjoy making any of these crafts together this fall while spending time outdoors under the autumn trees.
This article is presented by Colonial Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Hudson in Hudson, Massachusetts.